Mark Billingham and My Darling Clementine: The Other Half

Mark Billingham and My Darling Clementine: The Other Half

Crime writer Mark Billingham and country band My Darling Clementine come together for The Other Half, a blend of storytelling and music about love, loneliness and broken promises. From behind a lectern, Billingham tells the story of Marcia, a waitress in a rundown bar in Memphis... 

Ricky Tomlinson: Guilty My Arse

Ricky Tomlinson: Guilty My Arse

He promises that next year he’ll bring his comedy show to the Fringe, but right now Ricky Tomlinson has serious matters to discuss. In a riveting one-off appearance at Assembly Rooms on the final Saturday of the festival, the 76-year-old Royle Family star spoke to a packed house about his more than 40-year struggle to find out why he was sentenced to two years in prison on what he outlines as trumped-up charges following a 1972 construction workers’ strike... 

Mairi Hedderwick: Growing Up with Katie Morag

Mairi Hedderwick: Growing Up with Katie Morag

Mairi Hedderwick, author and illustrator, talks about her most famous creation, Katie Morag, and offers some wry insights and observations from behind the scenes of the multi award-winning TV series... 

Immigrant Diaries: Sajeela Kershi and Guests

Immigrant Diaries: Sajeela Kershi and Guests

Looking over my time at this year’s Fringe, there have been several topics that have come up time and time again. ISIS is probably the most prominent, with several comics eager to get their teeth into the extremist group... 

Will Hutton: How Good We Can Be

Will Hutton: How Good We Can Be

Will Hutton examines how Britain could create an economy, society and democracy in which the mass of citizens flourish – reinventing and repurposing core institutions like the company, the bank, the shareholder and trade union that have in varying ways lost their way... 

Owen Jones: The Politics of Hope

Owen Jones: The Politics of Hope

In Owen Jones: The Politics of Hope, Jones proves himself to be an engaging and eloquent speaker without any airs of pretension. In fact he’s quick to mock himself and the Right’s image of him as the “princeling of the Far Left elite” which imbues his words and message with a sense of real honesty... 

Polly Toynbee and David Walker: In Praise of Tax

Polly Toynbee and David Walker: In Praise of Tax

A sage said 'nothing can be certain but death and taxes'. In fact the 'who pays' question is obscured and avoided by politicians and public alike. Polly Toynbee and David Walker, authors of Cameron's Coup and Unjust Rewards, argue that the biggest issue in modern politics is honesty: you can't have Swedish services on US tax rates... 

Tom Stade: You’re Welcome!

Tom Stade: You’re Welcome!

When Tom Stade walks on stage you can tell he’s at home. Cowboy shirt, booming voice and attitude to spare, Stade commands the stage like a rock star. It’s with this boisterous attitude that we get an hour of loud mouthed, unapologetic comedy that the Canadian has become well known for... 

Jonathan Meades: Composing the Past

Jonathan Meades: Composing the Past

Meades' recent An Encyclopaedia of Myself was described as 'a masterpiece' by Roger Lewis in the FT, and 'by far the best picture of the 1950s I have read' by George Walden in the Times... 

The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh

Stand-up comedy and theatre rarely interact in meaningful ways. They are, of course, completely separate genres, with their own conventions and accepted formats. But what if there was a play about a stand up comic’s rise and fall? Doing that justice would mean incorporating elements of both, and infusing them into one story... 

Hooray for All Kinds of Things

Hooray for All Kinds of Things

Sandy Nelson's comic play examines the intriguing events of the 2010 Reykjavik Municipal elections, in which comedian and actor, Jon Gnarr, became the Mayor of Iceland's capital, despite his candidacy and formation of the "Best Party" originally being designed as a satirical joke... 

Chris Ingham: Celebrating Hoagy Carmichael

Chris Ingham: Celebrating Hoagy Carmichael

Chris Ingham (piano/vocal) and Paul Higgs (trumpet) salute the great American songwriter. Sold out at Ronnie Scott’s and a Sunday Times 2014 top ten jazz album, packed with melodic beauty and fascinating stories behind Hoagy’s wry and wise songbook... 

Tessa Dunlop: An Audience with The Bletchley Girls

Tessa Dunlop: An Audience with The Bletchley Girls

Author Tessa Dunlop hosts a one-off, revelatory session with three of the extraordinary women who were involved in Britain’s most secret wartime operation and feature in her book The Bletchley Girls... 

Soweto Spiritual Singers: The Return

Soweto Spiritual Singers: The Return

The Soweto Spiritual Singers are at the Fringe with two shows, this later one at the Assembly Rooms called The Return, is an uplifting and enjoyable hour of African spirituality.The South African singers and musicians put on a show that is full of energy and African culture... 

Township Voices

Township Voices

The Dloko High School Choir from Umlazi Township, South Africa, return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, having performed sell-out shows in the Assembly Rooms in 2014, where it was not uncommon for the entire hall to be on their feet... 

Jay Rayner: My Dining Hell

Jay Rayner: My Dining Hell

Observer restaurant critic and chair of BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet, Jay Rayner examines our fascination with lousy reviews, recalls some of his worst nights out and shares the most damning reviews his own work has received. 

Richard Wiseman: How to be Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Richard Wiseman: How to be Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Richard Wiseman, psychologist and bestselling author of several popular psychology books, returns to the Fringe to talk for an hour about the psychology of perception, touching on topics such as deception, dreams, luck and success... 

Wendy Hoose by Johnny McKnight

Wendy Hoose by Johnny McKnight

Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is arguably Scotland’s most innovative and ground-breaking theatre company when it comes to exploring disability and producing fully-integrated performances... 

AC Grayling: The Meanings of Life

AC Grayling: The Meanings of Life

Is there one kind of life that is the true and right life for all human beings, or are many kinds of good lives possible? If the latter, does this mean that there are no absolutes in morals and our understanding of human nature and the world? These are philosophical questions – and philosophers have given answers: some of the most important answers ever given to this most important of all questions. 

Carol Grimes with Dorian Ford: The Singer's Tale

Carol Grimes with Dorian Ford: The Singer's Tale

Carol Grimes, the Piaf singer/songwriter of British music. This raw, in your face sublime performer takes you with her on a musical journey through her extraordinary life. The Singers Tale weaves its stories, sometimes shady, mad and bad, but with music and song at their heart... 

Pip Utton: Adolf

Pip Utton: Adolf

One of the most exciting solo shows of the past decade. Live theatre at its best. 'Terrifying, searing, transfixing ... it's quite impossible to be anything other than totally absorbed by Utton's performance... 

Nina Conti: Talking Comedy

Nina Conti: Talking Comedy

Nina has won a British Comedy Award, stormed Live at the Apollo, and made a BAFTA nominated film. Nina began her career at the Royal Shakespeare Company, before the genius and anarchic theatre director Ken Campbell inspired her to become a ventriloquist... 

Detention

Detention

Hijinks and flying kicks abound in this piece of non-verbal physical comedy from the Hong Kong-based Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio, last unleashed on an unsuspecting Fringe in 2012. The plot – if what happens can really be described as plot – revolves around three mischievous teenagers banished to the detention room for undisclosed reasons (probably involving farts), who find themselves forced to contend with their feisty, lovelorn teacher and a new challenge to their hormonal equilibrium... 

Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Bawbag!

Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Bawbag!

The nightmare continues... Highly offensive stand-up and sleight of hand skills combine to produce a show that uniquely defies audience appeal. Please note that while his act has been successfully 'middle-classifed' by other performers, they have all since contracted the ebola virus and regularly pass it on to their audiences... 

Alexei Sayle: Talking Comedy

Alexei Sayle: Talking Comedy

Alexei’s varied career spans work as comic, novelist, actor and columnist. Alexei talks about his career in comedy with Olly Double, curator of British Stand-Up Comedy Archive. His television comedy career includes Alexei Sayle’s Stuff for the BBC, The Young Ones, and several films in The Comic Strip Presents series... 

Jo Brand: Talking Comedy

Jo Brand: Talking Comedy

Long established as one of the UK’s best female comics Jo talks about her career in comedy with Olly Double, curator of British Stand-Up Comedy Archive. The star and writer of Getting On, the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning series set on a hospital’s geriatric ward, which was partly inspired by her earlier career in nursing... 

Come Together, Barb Jungr and John McDaniel Perform The Beatles

Come Together, Barb Jungr and John McDaniel Perform The Beatles

In this exciting collaboration, award-winning vocalist and performer, Jungr, and Grammy and Emmy Award winner McDaniel investigate The Beatles; celebrating Paul, John, George and Ringo with new, often unexpected arrangements... 

Loving Linda Smith Gala Concert: In Aid of Target Ovarian Cancer

Loving Linda Smith Gala Concert: In Aid of Target Ovarian Cancer

Jo Brand, Phill Jupitus, Mark Thomas, Susan Calman, Bridget Christie, Liz Lochhead, Arthur Smith, Jo Caulfield, Fred MacAulay and Angela Barnes. A special night of comedy celebrating the great talent that was Linda Smith... 

Susan Calman: Talking Comedy

Susan Calman: Talking Comedy

Award-winning stand-up comedian, writer and actress talks about her career in comedy, with Olly Double, curator of British Stand-Up Comedy Archive. ‘Feisty Scot Calman is one of the best female comics to ever come out of the land of bagpipes and haggis... 

Steve Richards Presents Rock'n'Roll Politics 4

Steve Richards Presents Rock'n'Roll Politics 4

Steve Richards Presents Rock N Roll Politics 4. After a dramatic UK general election and last year’s referendum in Scotland, politics is more shook up than ever. The award-winning columnist and broadcaster takes you behind the scenes of the latest epic dramas in his unique show, bringing to life characters from Jeremy Corbyn to Nicola Sturgeon and on to George Osborne... 

Sequamur

Sequamur

The new Gaelic language play Sequamur, by Donald S Murray, reflects on the life of educationalist William J Gibson, headmaster of the Nicolson Institute, Stornoway between 1894 and 1925... 

Barnardo's Big Comedy Benefit

Barnardo's Big Comedy Benefit

A bumper-length show giving you the chance to help raise vital funds for Barnardo's while previewing a selection of this year's top Fringe shows, courtesy of some of your favourite comedians! With Jo Caulfield confirmed for hosting duties and Patrick Monahan, Fred MacAuley, Paul Foot, Joe Lycett and Jason Byrne already adding their names to the bill; this show is sure to be a sell out so get your tickets now! 

Danny Dorling: Economic Inequality and Our Grandchildren’s Future

Danny Dorling: Economic Inequality and Our Grandchildren’s Future

Did Scotland vote the wrong way on independence? Predicting the future is hard, but if we carry on the path we’re on what becomes of our grandchildren? There is no way that everyone can be rich... 

Virginia Ironside: Growing Old Disgracefully

Virginia Ironside: Growing Old Disgracefully

At 70, Virginia Ironside writes a regular agony column for the Independent and the OIdie, and her latest comic novel is Yes! I Can Manage Thank You! In her one-woman show she explains why unlimited free drugs, fun funerals, grandchildren, and sex – or, even better, no sex – make growing old the best (and funniest) time of your life... 

The Periodic Fable

The Periodic Fable

Science and panto combine in this energetic family romp that means well, but ultimately fails to stick together as a whole.Two Glaswegian scientists, Dr Karen, also known as Big Pal, and Dr Erin, who has some amusing anger-management issues, are two scientists with spectacular lab coats, who are preparing for the big science conference... 

The Everlasting Book Tour: Where Literature, Comedy And Ian Macpherson Collide

The Everlasting Book Tour: Where Literature, Comedy And Ian Macpherson Collide

Ian Macpherson is perhaps best known for a joke he came up with years ago: ‘They say you play at _____ twice in your career. Once on the way up. Once on the way down. It’s good to be back... 

Stephen K Amos: Talking Comedy

Stephen K Amos: Talking Comedy

Stephen K Amos has charmed and entertained audiences all over the world with his natural, assured delivery and his honest, original material. Stephen talks about his career in comedy with Olly Double, curator of British Stand-Up Comedy Archive... 

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Founded in 1960, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas boast a string of classic Motown hits, including (Love is Like a) Heat Wave, Nowhere to Run, Jimmy Mack, Bless You and Dancing in the Street... 

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

In a typically idiosyncratic twist Carol-Ann Duffy is collaborating with her ‘favourite’ court musician John Sampson for a reading of work from across her gargantuan oeuvre.Sampson introduces us to a range of beautifully crafted historical and modern instruments including a crumhorn that sounds like a cross between a harpsichord and a horn, with a hint of kazoo... 

Free Gaza!

Free Gaza!

Comedians Daniel Kitson, Mark Steel, Mark Thomas and Ivor Dembina join forces to raise money for IMET2000, a charity bringing front-line medical relief to victims of last year's bombing of Gaza... 

Mark Thompson's A Space Traveller's Guide to the Solar System

Mark Thompson's A Space Traveller's Guide to the Solar System

Is it possible for one person to journey around the solar system in the space of a human lifetime? This show is as much about the alien worlds in our planetary neighborhood as it is about the experience of travelling in space... 

Mark Thomas: Talking Comedy

Mark Thomas: Talking Comedy

Comedian and activist Mark Thomas talks to Olly Double, curator of British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, about how his comedy has evolved to embrace both theatre and politics. Mark has been performing comedy for 29 years... 

Robin Ince's Reality Tunnel

Robin Ince's Reality Tunnel

“The thing I was going to show you – well there’s a few things to show you – but I want to tell you something else first,” says Robin Ince some time into this intellectual whirlwind of a show... 

Charlotte Green: The News is Read

Charlotte Green: The News is Read

Listening to Charlotte Green talk for an hour on any subject is an enjoyable way to spend any afternoon, but hearing her talk about her long and distinguished career as a newsreader for the BBC is definitely one of life’s great pleasures... 

Don't Tell Him Pike: Part 2. More Tales from the Not So Stupid Boy...

Don't Tell Him Pike: Part 2. More Tales from the Not So Stupid Boy...

Die-hard fans of classic BBC Sitcom Dad’s Army will particularly enjoy this panel discussion, Q&A and selection of nostalgic clips from Ian Lavender, aka Private Pike, and fellow actor Stephen McNicoll... 

Hugh McIlvanney

Hugh McIlvanney

Once called 'the greatest sports writer in the English-speaking world', Hugh McIlvanney is garlanded with awards and remains sharp and perceptive in the Sunday Times. His career has taken him through the great sagas of football, boxing and horse-racing for over 50 years... 

Liz Lochhead With Steve Kettley: Old Pals and Party Pieces

Liz Lochhead With Steve Kettley: Old Pals and Party Pieces

The second ever Scots Makar (national poet) Liz Lochhead has teamed up with saxophonist Steve Kettley for this nostalgic selection of her favourite poems from a 50-year career.From poems about her school days in Glasgow and the colourful characters of her youth through to her passion for art, feminism and music, Lochhead is an inimitable talent and apt storyteller... 

Pip Utton: Playing Maggie

Pip Utton: Playing Maggie

Margaret Thatcher was – still is, two years after her death – a divisive figure, loved and hated in equal measure. This aspect of her is a repeated theme in Pip Utton’s new show, in which he plays an actor who, in turn, is playing “the Iron Lady”... 

Worbey and Farrell's House Party

Worbey and Farrell's House Party

Ostensibly, Worbey and Farrell’s show is a piano recital. But it so much more than that. With the addition of the corniest jokes and literal bells and whistles, their performance strips away all the demure stuffiness associated with a concert and adds something rarely seen at these events... 

The Assembly Rooms Very Best of the Fest

The Assembly Rooms Very Best of the Fest

Six superb showcases featuring the very best comedy from across the Fringe. The biggest names and the hottest new acts, together in one stunning show. With five major acts for the price of one and a different line-up every show, this sensational Friday and Saturday night spectacular is set to be the weekly comedy climax to this year's Fringe. 

Matt Parker: Now in 4D

Matt Parker: Now in 4D

Award-winning maths comedian and Rubik's cube world record holder Matt Parker is once more forming a maths + comedy venn diagram with lively stand-up and mind-boggling maths. Now with more dimensions than ever before! Star of You Have Been Warned (Discovery Channel), James May's Things You Need to Know (BBC Two), World's Top Five (Quest) and a guest appearance with Dick and Dom... 

Sarah-Jane Morris: Bloody Rain

Sarah-Jane Morris: Bloody Rain

The British soul, jazz and r'n'b singer who topped the UK pop charts with The Communards in 1986 with 'Don’t Leave Me This Way'. Performing songs with Tony Remy and Tim Cansfield from a new collection of love songs, tributes, warnings and protests that she regards as the best album of her life, Bloody Rain... 

Elaine C Smith's Burdz Eye View

Elaine C Smith's Burdz Eye View

Elaine C Smith the comedienne, actress, singer, writer, raconteur, political activist and star of Rab C Nesbitt returns to the Fringe with a new one woman show – a brilliant mix of intelligent stand-up, storytelling and music adapted from her recent TV success A Burdz Eye View... 

Chris Mullin: The Art of Political Leadership

Chris Mullin: The Art of Political Leadership

Churchill, Attlee, Thatcher, Blair. Who were the great British political leaders of the 20th Century and what were the qualities that made them stand out? And is it true that today's politicians are minnows by comparison? Political diarist and former Labour minister Chris Mullin goes in search of greatness... 

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Promiscuous England

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Promiscuous England

The English have been typecast as imperial snobs, rule-bound, repressed, class-ridden, prejudiced – their racism cuts and scars. But reel through their long history to now and you find they can be passionate, wanton, infinitely curious and open... 

The Missing Hancocks: Live in Edinburgh! (Show A)

The Missing Hancocks: Live in Edinburgh! (Show A)

The Missing Hancocks is a genuine blast from the past. The hour-long show breathes life into two scripts from the mid-50s radio comedy series Hancock’s Half Hour. Doing the breathing on the Assembly Rooms stage is a stellar cast led by Kevin McNally in the role of Tony Hancock... 

Jon Ronson: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Jon Ronson: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Ever made a joke on Twitter that came out wrong and as a consequence been torn apart by a crazy mob? Or been part of crazy mob tearing someone apart for telling a joke on Twitter? Jon’s spent the past three years with people who have, and now he’s ready to tell the tale... 

Stuart Cosgrove

Stuart Cosgrove

Stuart Cosgrove is one of Scotland’s sharpest and wittiest contemporary observers. A writer and broadcaster, who works for both Channel 4 and the BBC, he is best known ‘high-end’ for arts and documentaries, and ‘low-end’ for the deplorably successful Off The Ball on BBC Radio Scotland... 

Kate Fox: Baby I Don't Care

Kate Fox: Baby I Don't Care

More and more people don't want children. Comedian and poet Kate Fox is one of the rising child-free. Are they set to save the planet or condemn it to extinction? Could you think of better uses for the £212,000 average cost of raising one? Kate Fox rejoices in a world where the unmaternal now have more options than becoming a nun or a witch, in this talk based on her recent Radio 4 show The Price of Happiness... 

Facebooked!

Facebooked!

You know those moments that happen on the bus, or in the street, where you eavesdrop on someone’s conversation and gain a brief window into their world? Do you ever think that you should maybe write down those moments, just to capture something that you might not experience again? This is exactly what Iain Heggie has done, creating a wonderfully eccentric patchwork of storytelling that preserves life’s chance encounters and recreates them before your eyes... 

Myriam Francois-Cerrah: Overstating Religion in the Middle East

Myriam Francois-Cerrah: Overstating Religion in the Middle East

Politics or religion as a source of conflict? From the Israeli Palestinian conflict, via Iran and ISIL, much of what we hear about the Middle East is couched in the language of ancient religious hatreds and as the inevitable outcome of religion's presumed divisiveness – but how important is religion really as an explanatory variable in the region and what are the dangers in over stating it? 

John Pilger: Power and Propaganda (Q&A)

John Pilger: Power and Propaganda (Q&A)

Journalist, film-maker and author, John Pilger is one of only two to win British journalism’s highest award twice. For his documentary films, he has won an Emmy and a BAFTA. His epic Cambodia Year Zero is ranked by the BFI as one of the ten most important documentaries of the 20th century... 

Jane Austen's Persuasion: A New Musical Drama

Jane Austen's Persuasion: A New Musical Drama

Though Jane Austen is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most prominent literary names, Persuasion is perhaps her least widely read work. It tells of Anne Elliot, her history of broken love and her hopes of reconciliation with Captain Wentworth... 

Stewart Lee: A Room With a Stew

Stewart Lee: A Room With a Stew

New material in preparation for the next series of BBC Two’s Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. ‘What is exhilarating is how many surprises he still throws in and how deft his jumps are from one tone to another ... 

Jamie Bartlett: The Dark Net

Jamie Bartlett: The Dark Net

Bartlett talks about his experience immersed in the internet's most shocking and unexplored subcultures, from buying cannabis on the Amazon of drugs to hanging with Bitcoin anarchists to exploring the encrypted world of the Tor network... 

Val Mcdermid: My Life In Five Games

Val Mcdermid: My Life In Five Games

One of the biggest names in crime writing, McDermid’s novels have been translated into 30 languages and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Uniquely, she has both a mortuary (at Dundee University) and a football stand bearing her name... 

Sinatra: 100 Years – Celebrating Frank Sinatra’s Centenary

Sinatra: 100 Years – Celebrating Frank Sinatra’s Centenary

In short, we’ll let others speak! 'Doing it his way, the ghost of Sinatra lives on' (Times). 'Fantastic performance' (Sean Connery). 'When Todd sings, he brings intimacy to a packed concert hall, inviting the audience to share his love of great songs... 

The Garden Man

The Garden Man

What’s living in the garden, among the grass and in the trees? Is it a bird, or is it a bee? Maybe it’s the Garden Man? Come along today and see! The Garden Man is a story inspired by the power of the imagination and the magic of the world around us... 

Fred MacAulay: Him Off the Radio

Fred MacAulay: Him Off the Radio

How is life for Fred since leaving BBC Radio Scotland after all these years? And why did he leave? Did someone forget to get him a hot latte? Were any punches thrown? If you miss him on the airwaves, now is the time to see him back where he belongs... 

So That's What We Voted For?

So That's What We Voted For?

Radical satirical Scottish comedy, following the sell-out success of Aye Right? How No? at the 2014 Fringe, and on global television. Nelson, McAllister and McTavish return with a brand new show... 

Phil Nichol’s Cray Cray Cabaret

Phil Nichol’s Cray Cray Cabaret

From the award-winning star of Catastrophe (Channel 4) and Uncle (BBC3), and the producers of award-winning megashow The Wrestling comes the anarchic late night gang-show of your dreams... 

Stewart Francis: Pun Gent

Stewart Francis: Pun Gent

If you’re going to see one show this year, make it Count Arthur Strong. So brilliantly written and performed, you would be a fool not to see it. If however, you can’t get a ticket for that show, or, if it’s chucking doon wi rain, why not see Stewart Francis in his brand new show Pun Gent... 

The Amazing Bubbleman

The Amazing Bubbleman

Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences around the world for over 30 years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles. An Edinburgh Festival Fringe favourite, he has sold out every year for the last eight years... 

The Missing Hancocks: Live in Edinburgh! (Show B)

The Missing Hancocks: Live in Edinburgh! (Show B)

BBC Radio 4’s smash hit – live! Hancock's Half Hour, lovingly recreated with a stellar cast led by Kevin McNally as The Lad Himself. The classic radio comedy starring Hancock, Kenneth Williams and Sid James ran 102 episodes... 

Rodney Bewes: Whatever Happened to the Likely Lad?

Rodney Bewes: Whatever Happened to the Likely Lad?

An audience with Rodney Bewes... who? Star of BBC's The Likely Lads tells how, after an unlikely start, he was drawn into hilarious life adventures on the screen and stage. The story of a working-class boy from the North who washed-up by night to fund studying at RADA... 

Imaan After My Own Heart

Imaan After My Own Heart

Imaan is in Love. He loves you, he loves sharing drinks with friends, he loves sharing fluids with lovers, he loves hippies, conservatives and sarcasm, he loves language, he hates that there is only one English word for love... 

Joanna Neary: Faceful of Issues

Joanna Neary: Faceful of Issues

The much-loved Celia, housewife and host, returns, on tour with her Toxborough Village Hall Chat Show, in aid of the Animal Hospital, for a kitten who needs an iron lung. Topical talks, showbiz exclusives, celebrity interviews – plus a local locksmith’s bawdy confessions, a recipe for air soup, and a photograph of a conker... 

Sam Brady: Kindness

Sam Brady: Kindness

Award-winning comedian and failed Buddhist monk Sam Brady explores his ongoing struggle to be a good person, and asks why kindness is so undervalued and so hard to practice. Heart-warming, thought-provoking comedy... 

The Man

The Man

Come see the birth of a true modern jester, a voice for the people. The Man is a punchy and surreal atomisation of the shadowy controlling forces that shape our modern world. A lone vigilante, The Man ploughs through sacred cows like an allegorical abattoir, doing for preconceptions what battering rams do for doors... 

The Gospel Inquiry

The Gospel Inquiry

The Gospel Inquiry by Sandy Nelson. As the inquiry into journalistic standards continues, four men deliver their testimonies: Mark, Mathew, Luke and John. How much of what was written actually happened? Or rather, how did it happen? Did Jesus really use the laying on of hands to heal a lame man? Did he really turn water into wine? Or was there another explanation? After all they were only being recorded by the journalists of their time and what journalist is not prone to a little bit of puffing up the truth - or just lying. 

Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies

Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies

Returning to AR Fringe after a 2014 sell-out, sold out off-Broadway, and front page of ThreeWeeks. Miss Davis is back to share her five-star show. ‘I have two Oscars, not one but two... 

Craig Campbell: Don't Look Down

Craig Campbell: Don't Look Down

We've all got 'em: struggles, self-orchestrated pitfalls, flat tyres, ball cancer… Un/fortunately we can't all make a living droning on about them to room full (dreamer) of people very likely nursing bigger problems themselves... 

Simon Singh: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

Simon Singh: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

Simon Singh has a very easy style and voice which belies the genius within. His Ph.D is in particle physics and that remains his main area of interest, but his forays into mathematics have made him a BAFTA award winner and Emmy nominee... 

And They Played Shang-a-Lang

And They Played Shang-a-Lang

The show is narrated by a theatre director who is reflecting on his school days in 1970’s Edinburgh. The theme of leaving childhood behind to make the sometimes difficult, often silly transition into adulthood is a good focus as it is something that we have all been through... 

Tom Stade: Decisions Decisions

Tom Stade: Decisions Decisions

Looking back at it, Tom Stade is the ideal performer to subdue the rowdy (but never disruptive) last-weekend-of-the-Fringe, Friday-night-on-George-Street, Assembly-Rooms-Ballroom crowd (you can only have one –ed... 

Owen Jones: The Establishment

Owen Jones: The Establishment

In the ironically grand setting of the Assembly Rooms, Owen Jones gave a rallying and convincing cry against the establishment. Encouraging the audience to tweet and get their phones out to respond throughout the talk, Jones is not only a household name but also no stranger to controversy and debate in his career as a journalist... 

Bridge Over Troubled Lager (Volume 2)

Bridge Over Troubled Lager (Volume 2)

Bridge Over Troubled Lager (Volume 2) from Rory McGrath and Philip Pope is an evening of easy listening funny tunes and mild jokes. The singing and musicianship is solid and there are some funny moments but the pair tend to bore just as much as they amuse... 

Mary Beard: He-he-he! What Made the Ancient Romans Laugh?

Mary Beard: He-he-he! What Made the Ancient Romans Laugh?

Mary Beard is an unlikely rockstar. Her one-off lecture at the Assembly Rooms attracted one of the biggest audiences I’ve seen at this year’s Fringe, some of them showing up half an hour in advance to get a seat close to the front... 

Polly Toynbee and David Walker

Polly Toynbee and David Walker

In the lavish surroundings of the Assembly Rooms, Guardian journalists Polly Toynbee and David Walker dive straight in at the deep end. This event, part of the sparkling line up of the Speakers with Attitude series, introduced a new book by Walker and Toynbee posing the opinion that David Cameron and his cohorts have staged an anti-state coup... 

David Kay

David Kay

Successful stand-ups usually have a memorable on-stage persona; it may be manic, taciturn or just ‘nice’, but it’s what they’re remembered for. David Kay comes across as someone who’s fundamentally bashful; his hand nervously fingering the microphone stand, his gaze falling more often on the floor than at the audience in front of him... 

Aye Right? How No?: The Comedy Countdown to the Referendum with Vladimir McTavish & Keir McAllister

Aye Right? How No?: The Comedy Countdown to the Referendum with Vladimir McTavish & Keir McAllister

Tensions are building north of the border. It’s an unspoken rule that you don’t mention the “i” word at parties unless you want a fight on your hands. Heated exchanges between close friends and pub bust-ups have come to be the norm... 

Steve Richards: Rock'n'Roll Politics Special

Steve Richards: Rock'n'Roll Politics Special

In a brand new show, award-winning political columnist and broadcaster Steve Richards takes you behind the scenes as the referendum looms and the next British general election moves into view. 

Jim Al-Khalili: Quantum - Still Crazy After All These Years

Jim Al-Khalili: Quantum - Still Crazy After All These Years

I gave up studying all forms of science at the age of 15, so on the surface, I would not be the natural choice for Jim Al-Khalili’s Quantum – Still Crazy After All These Years... 

Jonathan Meades: A Stroll Down False Memory Lane

Jonathan Meades: A Stroll Down False Memory Lane

'Forensically, mordantly, occasionally lovingly, Meades deconstructs the 1950s. They will never look quite the same again' (David Kynaston on An Encyclopaedia of Myself). Meades discusses of memory's vagaries, indiscriminacy and mutability. 

Liz Lochhead: Somethings Old, Somethings New

Liz Lochhead: Somethings Old, Somethings New

Liz Lochhead’s solo spoken word show at Assembly Rooms opens with songs from Joni Mitchell’s delicately moody album ‘Blue’ on the sound system; appropriate not only for her first poem of the afternoon, Old Vinyl, but also for Lochhead’s themes of lost love and lost time... 

Mark Thompson: The Secrets of the Universe... Exposed

Mark Thompson: The Secrets of the Universe... Exposed

The welcome recording over the PA tells us that this event is part of the Assembly Rooms’ ‘Enchanting ideas’ series for a ‘more discerning audience’, getting a chuckle from the audience... 

Lucy Worsley: A Very British Murder

Lucy Worsley: A Very British Murder

Who doesn’t love a good murder? Most of Britain does apparently and this preoccupation is not a recent event. TV host and historian Lucy Worsley delivers a fascinating lecture on the subject of murder as entertainment, building on her TV series and book of the same name... 

Jerry Sadowitz: Card Tricks and Close-up Magic

Jerry Sadowitz: Card Tricks and Close-up Magic

Prepare to be offended and amazed. Perpetually cranky comic and close-up magic man Jerry Sadowitz promises two shows in one with this performance.Known for his sick humour, Sadowitz will be unpalatable for many although he does have legions of enthusiastic fans who cheerfully yell at him to ‘get f*cked’ as he successfully performs card tricks... 

Barnardo’s Big Comedy Benefit

Barnardo’s Big Comedy Benefit

We’re back with another bumper-length show for a fantastic cause! Hosted by Jo Caulfield, this comedy extravaganza gives you a chance to preview a selection of this year’s top Fringe shows from the likes of Susan Calman, Fred MacAulay, Patrick Monahan and many more... 

Bright Club: Scotland’s Fringe

Bright Club: Scotland’s Fringe

We’re straight from the research field to the Fringe! Bright Club is the freshest thing in stand-up - an academic comedy cocktail synthesised for your entertainment and enlightenment... 

The Fair Intellectual Club

The Fair Intellectual Club

In 1717, three young women strove to discover ‘what we might attain unto if we were as industrious to cultivate our minds as we are to adorn our bodies’, and so set up the society after which this play is named... 

John Bird: Money, Sex and Justice- How to Change Your World

John Bird: Money, Sex and Justice- How to Change Your World

John Bird started The Big Issue magazine. His story is achingly funny and powerfully inspiring. It will make you want to rush out and start making changes in your own life. 

A Split Decision

A Split Decision

This topical drama casts Scotland and England in the roles of bickering husband and wife, mediated by a third party functioning as both marriage therapist and collective child of Britain... 

Richard Wiseman: Night School

Richard Wiseman: Night School

Night School is an odd ‘show’ that seems to hover somewhere between an entertaining lecture and a TED talk. Often billed or referred to as ‘Professor,’ Wiseman himself is a mixture of entertaining teacher and slightly annoying boffin, a touch too fond of his own jokes... 

The Amazing Bubble Man

The Amazing Bubble Man

Children will love this fun spectacle of bubble-blowing and even grown-ups will be impressed by the Amazing Bubble Man’s feats; not ten minutes into the show, I heard a Dad in front of me say “Those are amazing bubbles!” – so the name holds true... 

Camille O’Sullivan: 10

Camille O’Sullivan: 10

You can’t help but wonder how many people fall in love with Camille O’Sullivan during her show each night. I know it wasn’t just me; from the standing ovation at the end, the audible gasps during the more impressive numbers, and the fact that during the quieter songs, the audience are not just silent, they barely move... 

A Short Story About A Story

A Short Story About A Story

The true roots of fiction are often misunderstood, strangely explained and just plain lied about. Writer and broadcaster AL Kennedy uncovers how a short story really came to be. (May include some fibbing... 

Dr Bunhead's Secret Science Lab

Dr Bunhead's Secret Science Lab

TV's favourite stunt scientist (from Brainiac, Blue Peter, etc) reveals his top secret science recipes for amazing experiments you can do at home - but probably shouldn't! Liquid magnets, super sticky bogeys, rainbow foam jets, and loads more! He'll also reveal heaps of scientists-only experiments like: flaming fire bubbles, super-frozen banana hammers and his Guinness World Record chip bazooka... 

John O’Farrell: 25 Years of Writing Stupid Jokes

John O’Farrell: 25 Years of Writing Stupid Jokes

In John O’Farrell’s 25 Years of Writing Stupid Jokes, he tells the story of his comedy career: first as a writer on the likes of Spitting Image and Have I Got News for You and then as a novelist, a broadcaster and a public figure... 

Martin Rowson: Hung, Drawn and Quartered

Martin Rowson: Hung, Drawn and Quartered

Romp through a 32,000 year history of visual satire, the life and work of William Hogarth and the power of giving and taking offence, along the way exposing the techniques, practice and purpose of caricature. 

Township Voices

Township Voices

The Dloko High School Choir from Umlazi Township, SA explode on stage with gospel, Zulu songs and dance. With Scottish guests they present a 30 strong ensemble which will move you to tears of sadness and joy... 

Elaine C Smith

Elaine C Smith

With three decades of performing under her belt, Elaine C. Smith draws labels like ‘national treasure’ and ‘Scottish institution’. As she takes her place on the stage, she seems bedecked, or perhaps armoured, with those accolades – as well as an indecent number of sequins... 

Siddhartha, the Musical

Siddhartha, the Musical

You’ve probably seen the posters featuring a half-naked man covered in oil- exactly what Herman Hesse had in mind when he wrote his classic philosophical novel. That alone should give an idea of how little this production has to do with its source material- if you’re a philosopher, a Buddhist, or anyone with a modicum of taste you will find this show deeply offensive... 

13 Sunken Years

13 Sunken Years

Three women, three generations, tied together not only by blood but also by the magic of the river that runs through their remote Finnish town. One day the mother disappears. It happened the day of her school graduation, her mother disappears and her grandmother is diagnosed with dementia... 

Virginia Ironside: Growing Old Disgracefully

Virginia Ironside: Growing Old Disgracefully

Virginia Ironside writes a regular agony column for the Independent and the OIdie and her latest comic novel is No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses! In her one-woman show she explains why unlimited free drugs, fun funerals, grandchildren and sex (or, even better, no sex) make growing old the best (and funniest) time of your life... 

Tony Benn: A Celebration

Tony Benn: A Celebration

A celebration of the life and legacy of one of our finest politicians. Tony Benn’s lifelong fight for economic and social justice was characterised by his personal integrity and common decency... 

Owen O’Neill: Red Noise

Owen O’Neill: Red Noise

Owen O’Neill is a much better poet than he is a comic. I recently and unfavourably reviewed him in The Best of Irish Comedy, but this new offering, Red Noise, sees O’Neill in his element... 

Bulletproof

Bulletproof

"What happens when you think you’re being hilarious and other people just think you are causing anarchy?" Despite beginning with a gripping premise about censors, sensitivity and shows in Pakistan, Shazia Mirza's show doesn't leave me any more enlightened on the issues she poses... 

Fred MacAulay: The Frederendum

Fred MacAulay: The Frederendum

At the risk of damning Fred McAuley with faint praise, this is an extremely competent set. At no point are the laughs uproarious, but he frequently raises a smile and a chuckle. There is the sense that we are in safe hands, but it almost feels too safe... 

Cocktails with the Diva

Cocktails with the Diva

The Oxford Dictionary describes 'Diva' as: “A celebrated female opera singer, a famous female singer of popular music, or a woman regarded as temperamental or haughty”. Melinda Hughes, the Diva in this case, has many of these attributes; she has an Opera background, she sings songs in a popular style and she puts on a haughty demeanour within the context of her charming and witty show... 

Rob Deering: Musicface

Rob Deering: Musicface

Cutting through the audience with a sunburst Fender acoustic guitar, Rob Deering attempts to capture the spirit of Richie Havens at Woodstock, before singing a frustratingly catchy song about stimulants... 

Ruby Wax: Sane New World

Ruby Wax: Sane New World

Only Ruby Wax would have the tenacity to walk on stage, hardly acknowledge the audience and make herself a cup of tea before beginning to even think about starting her show. She certainly continued to do things her way throughout, delivering her set in a wide range of situations: from reclining on a sofa to bouncing on a yoga ball... 

Tom Shillue: Impossible

Tom Shillue: Impossible

American stand-up Tom Shillue opens by asking why he, a comic on his first run at the Fringe, has the right to stand on stage for an hour and talk about himself. It’s the stand-up equivalent of Aristotle’s ruminations on the nature of being, to which no comedian/philosopher has yet found a satisfactory answer... 

George Galloway: My Life in Five Games

George Galloway: My Life in Five Games

George Galloway is best known as the fiercely pro-Palestinian Respect Party MP for West Bradford. But this appearance at The Assembly Rooms is to discuss his new book, George Galloway: My Life in Five Games... 

Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies

Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies

Writer and performer Jessica Sherr claims she has always been in love with the 1930s and 40s and it shows in this enjoyable and insightful one-woman show.On the night of the 1939 Academy Awards Bette Davis finds out she is losing her third Oscar to Vivien Leigh after the LA Times leak the results... 

The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant

The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant

The Fringe’s late-summer position in the calendar means that few of those who visit the Scottish capital ever experience one particular form of indigenous theatre — pantomime... 

Don't Tell Him Pike

Don't Tell Him Pike

Through the 60’s and 70’s BBC television went through a golden period for producing some of the best situation comedy, amongst which was the great Dad’s Army. Sadly today there is only one surviving actor from the legendary front line, that being Ian Lavender... 

The Pitiless Storm

The Pitiless Storm

For all its claims of being a one-man show, the stage can get pretty crowded during The Pitiless Storm.David Hayman plays Bob Cunningham, a life-long West of Scotland socialist, Union man and Unionist — “fighting a class war, not a nationalist one,” as he puts it — who, on the eve of being presented with the Order of the British Empire, faces an emotional crisis of belief and self-confidence which sees him ultimately complete what’s now referred to in pro-Scottish Independence circles as “the journey to Yes”... 

Pam Ayres

Pam Ayres

Pam Ayres returns to the Fringe for the first time since 2006. Pam Ayres’ work is funny, and approachable. It sounds simple, as though dashed off, but this is deceptive. Her hair-trigger timing and her eye for the detail of everyday life, makes for an art that hides art... 

Tanya Byron: The Skeleton Cupboard: The Making of a Clinical Psychologist

Tanya Byron: The Skeleton Cupboard: The Making of a Clinical Psychologist

Tanya Byron shares powerful stories from her years of training as a clinical psychologist and highlights the struggles of patients and staff alike on the journey from chaos to clarity... 

Des Clarke: The Trouble with Being Des

Des Clarke: The Trouble with Being Des

The Trouble with Being Des, according to Des Clarke, is that he has an inner demon man child inside him which makes him “weird”—not least within the context of growing up in a high-rise flat in Glasgow’s notorious Gorbals district—and liable to say the wrong thing... 

Concerto Without Orchestra

Concerto Without Orchestra

You might find yourself wondering how far into the past you’ve strayed during this excellent piano concert by Steven Worbey and Kevin Farrell. Their unthreatening, delightfully camp humour and delivery smacks of a bygone era, although they do take care to modernise their show with complex renditions of popular music... 

Laughter Is the Worst Medicine

Laughter Is the Worst Medicine

Basing your second Edinburgh show on the serious medical crisis which cut short your first run at the Fringe the previous year is patently logical. Lee Ridley, otherwise known as Lost Voice Guy, does just this... 

Danny Bhoy: 12 Nights, 12 Charities

Danny Bhoy: 12 Nights, 12 Charities

There’s a particular pleasure in seeing someone do their job incredibly well. Edinburgh is certainly a place to pick up fledgling talent but sometimes it’s nice to watch someone who’s already been through it, learned the important lessons and is just damn good... 

Robert Lewellyn: Electric Cars Are Rubbish. Aren't They?

Robert Lewellyn: Electric Cars Are Rubbish. Aren't They?

Environmentally friendly? Sustainable? More like greenie hogwash! Red Dwarf star Robert Llewellyn suggests we take off our Clarkson ear muffs and hear a different take. 

Jay Rayner: My Dining Hell

Jay Rayner: My Dining Hell

Jay Rayner is a real presence, a big guy with a big voice who is very comfortable with addressing an audience. During a very interesting hour we learn a lot about what motivates his writing, why we love coruscating reviews, and the different types of ‘bad’ restaurant... 

Scott Capurro Islamohomophobia: Reloaded

Scott Capurro Islamohomophobia: Reloaded

Age hasn’t softened Scott Capurro; nor, it has to be said, has marriage. That said, you do get the sense that a part of him still can’t quite believe that, as an openly gay man, that bastion of civilisation is now a legal option for him—not just in the UK (well, technically England; Scotland’s legislation will not really kick in till early next year, fact fans) but in parts of the US too... 

Fylm School

Fylm School

Serial innovator Simon Munnery turns host and fylm director, to introduce the Fringe’s top comedians to his camera, projector and cinema screen for a one-night only slice of stand-up, visual and live film-based comedy... 

Hancock’s Last Half Hour by Heathcote Williams

Hancock’s Last Half Hour by Heathcote Williams

"Ladies and gentlemen, I shall now bid you all good day... None of you know what you're looking at. You wait 'til I'm dead, you'll see I was right!" So said Tony Hancock at the end of his 1961 film Rebel... 

Chris Mullin: Tony Benn – An Appreciation

Chris Mullin: Tony Benn – An Appreciation

Former Labour minister and fellow diarist, Chris Mullin, for 35 years one of Benn’s closest friends, offers a sympathetic but not uncritical assessment of one of the most significant politicians of the post-war era. 

The Assembly Rooms Very Best of the Fest

The Assembly Rooms Very Best of the Fest

Itison presents seven superb showcases featuring the very best comedy from across the Fringe. The biggest names and the hottest new acts, together in one stunning show. With five major acts for the price of one and a different line-up every show, this sensational Friday and Saturday night spectacular is set to be the weekly comedy climax to this year’s Fringe. 

Andrew Maxwell: Hubble Bubble

Andrew Maxwell: Hubble Bubble

Award nominee and star of the Edinburgh Fringe, Andrew Maxwell returns for just 12 shows, with a fantastic new hour of mischievous charm and boundary-nudging wit. As seen on BBC’s Live at The Apollo, Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You, ITV’s Celebrity Juice, RTE’s The Panel and so much more… Total sell-out 2006-2013... 

MacBraveheart: The Other Scottish Play

MacBraveheart: The Other Scottish Play

Rooted in the past of a dystopian pre-independence future - that means a minimalist set littered with industrial remnants and a broken toilet - Scotland’s greatest heroes, Wallace, Bruce and Burns are tempted by their inner demons to confront their outer Hebrides... 

Nick Revell - Closet Optimist

Nick Revell - Closet Optimist

Veteran comedian, ‘brilliantly satirical’ (Time Out) co-creator of No Pressure to be Funny, ‘one of the best topical comedy podcasts out there’ (Huffington Post), BBC’s Nick Revell Show and a string of credits and awards stretching over four decades presents Closet Optimist - an hour of satirical comedy in ‘a set that is as politically charged as it is hilarious’ (Liverpool Echo)... 

Andrew Lawrence: Reasons to Kill Yourself

Andrew Lawrence: Reasons to Kill Yourself

Stand-up comedy’s foremost creepy-faced ginger man, star of BBC1’s ‘Live at the Apollo’ and a regular on Channel 4’s Stand-Up For The Week. Star of three series of his own acclaimed show on BBC Radio 4... 

Barbara Nice: Squirrel Proof

Barbara Nice: Squirrel Proof

Phoenix Nights’ Holy Mary, Janice Connolly, returns to the festival with a shrewd, sharp and current new show exploring the on-going battle we have with keeping nature at bay in the name of civilisation... 

The Trial of Jane Fonda

The Trial of Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is one of the most controversial anti-war activists in American history. On 18 June 1988, in a little-known event, Fonda confronted a room of hostile Vietnam veterans in Waterbury, Connecticut, who were boycotting the filming of her movie Stanley & Iris, co-starring Robert De Niro... 

Billy, the Monster and Me!

Billy, the Monster and Me!

Colour The Clouds present Billy, The Monster and Me! Join Billy on his adventure of a lifetime! Find out what happens when a Monster appears in Billy’s bedroom on the very day that his family are just too busy to play...